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Robbers attacked police car with a sledgehammer
Detectives investigating an armed robbery in which a police vehicle was attacked with a sledgehammer are appealing for the public's help to trace a green van.
The incident happened at around 9.45am on Wednesday, May 23, at the Lloyds TSB bank on Hough Lane in Leyland.
Two masked men wearing dark clothing got out of a car brandishing what appeared to be a handgun and a sledgehammer and threatened a G4S security guard making a delivery to the bank. They then went inside the bank and demanded money before fleeing the scene in a waiting dark grey Ford Mondeo car, bearing the registration plate MA09 NKR, which was being driven by a third person.
The car was later found abandoned on Rushwood Park, Standish, at 10.15am that morning. Around this time, a green van with a window along the driver's side panel was seen leaving Primrose Lane and driving on to Preston Road. It is unknown whether the green van is connected with the robbery and detectives are keen to trace the van and its driver in order to eliminate them from the enquiry.
Leaflets have been drawn up containing a photograph to help police in their efforts to trace the vehicle which will be distributed locally.
Detective Inspector Geoff Hurst, who is leading the investigation, said: "We would urge anyone who has information on this van or the driver themselves to come forward and help police with their enquiries. This was a particularly brutal robbery in which the offenders used violence as a means of making their escape and we are determined to bring those responsible to justice.”
Following the robbery, the offenders were followed by an unmarked police car carrying three plain-clothed detectives before they stopped the vehicle at the junction of Holbrook Road and Balshaw Lane. At this stage, a male offender got out wearing dark clothing, gloves, a balaclava, and brandishing a sledgehammer. He approached the police car and smashed the windscreen and the driver's window, striking one of the detectives on the shoulder with the sledgehammer, before removing the car keys and throwing them away. The offender then returned to the stolen vehicle and made off. Fortunately, the detective who was involved received only minor injuries during the incident.
Anyone with information on the Ford Mondeo or the green van is urged to contact Detective Sergeant Ian Derbyshire at Leyland Police on 01772 415847 or call 101. The public can also email information to SOUTHERN-SouthRibbleCID@lancashire.pnn.police.uk or alternatively information can be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.